As any gray beard ultrarunner will tell you, it used to be that you had to wait until Ultrarunning magazine arrived to find out recent race results, and “recent” was highly subjective since the results were often a few months old by that point. The advent of the internet obviously made results available much sooner post-race. But, it wasn’t until Twitter came along that we could regularly follow races as they happened. All of sudden, spectators along the course could tweet what was happening at each aid station, either updating followers on the race leaders or on a particular runner of interest. On top of starting THE ultrarunning website, Bryon Powell of iRunFar turned race tweeting into a finely tuned machine, travelling to big races across the globe and outfitting himself with satellite uplink, all in the name of informing curious minds with live race results no matter how remote the race. I saw Bryon in action at UROC last year, and his dedication and skill were evident. He even kindly passed along a message to my wife who had just given birth the week before, telling her I loved her and the kids. Just a few minutes later, she saw the message on our home computer. Not too shabby, supposing we were hundreds of miles apart and I was in the middle of a 9 hour race.
Bryon’s message on my behalf…Showing how big of an ultra-freak I am, I will admit to spending far too much time some weekends endlessly hitting refresh on twitter, yearning to know what is happening at some race in Utah, Virginia, Europe, Colorado, California, or any other number of locales. Bryon and many other faithful runners have kept me informed. I’ll admit that I’ve even called my neighbor, another runner, near the end of Western States:
“Are you watching this?” [I didn’t even need to tell him what this was] “Yeah- it’s amazing.” “What just happened with Killian? Is that a typo?” “I don’t know. And look at Geoff- he was 20 minutes behind Tony and now he’s only 8 back” “iRF said he’s got Mackey as a pacer, so that’s gotta help.” And so on…
Much to my wife’s chagrin, it seems there is a race almost every weekend that I want to hear about. This year, I think I’m going fastpacking in the Smokies during WS100 just so I won’t spend all day on twitter. Who am I kidding, though, I’ll just read all of it when I get home.